May 252015

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd can’t get an Uber because her feedback score isn’t high enough.

Similarly, when the Philadelphia Citypaper’s Emily Guendelsberger went undercover as an Uber driver she too found feedback scores determined how much work a contractor won.

Guendelsberger found a driver with feedback score of 4.6 risked being dropped by Uber while Dowd discovered her rating of 4.2 meant drivers didn’t want to take her.

Both these numbers are out of five and translate to 84% for Dowd and 92% for drivers.

If you’re the type that works from the baseline of giving three out of five for delivering a service as described then adding points for exceptional performance or deducting marks for a poor experience then you’re messing with the system.

With the Uber scoring model – and one suspects this is the same with most of ‘sharing economy’ feedback mechanisms – the baseline mark is a perfect five with small increments deducted for poor performance.

Basically the curve is squeezed up to the right. Business Insider reported last year that only one percent of trips receive a rating of one or less and five percent below three.

In Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon every child is above above average, it seems in the world of the sharing economy almost every participant is in the top ten percent.

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